Catster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Find a Cat-Friendly Vet: 5 Vet-Reviewed Steps

Written by: Crystal Uys

Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

vet and assistant holding cats

How to Find a Cat-Friendly Vet: 5 Vet-Reviewed Steps

VET APPROVED

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you’ve just moved or recently adopted a cat, and you’re looking for a vet to take them to for their checkups and medical emergencies, there are some surefire ways to determine if a vet is good for you and your feline.

We’ve compiled this step-by-step guide to help you look for a new vet.

divider-catclaw1

The 5 Steps to Find a Cat-Friendly Vet

1. Search for a Vet Near You

It’s fairly easy to find a vet near you, but it’s harder to figure out whether they are cat-friendly. The first step is using a site or search engine to find a vet near you. Finding a clinic by your house will be more convenient for you and your cat, so use distance as your first search criterion, then determine which ones are cat-friendly. Once you’ve found one or more, you can follow these steps to determine which is right for you and your feline.

ginger cat check by vet
Image Credit: Nestor Rizhniak, Shutterstock

2. Figure Out the Vet’s Credentials

There are multiple characteristics to look for when finding the perfect vet. One is the vet’s credentials. You can call or look on the vet’s website to see these. Vets that have a Cat-Friendly Practice or Cat-Friendly Clinic status are ideal. The facilities and staff in these clinics are known for taking extra steps to ensure your cat’s safety, well-being, and comfort. This is important because the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the International Society for Feline Medicine work diligently to be credible feline medicine associations.

The Cat-Friendly Certificate is also an important credential that individuals within the practice may have. It provides additional training for veterinary staff working with cats, ensuring that they have the knowledge and skills to provide best practices for feline medicine.

Less commonly, but with even more expertise, are veterinary nurses or veterinarians who have specialized in feline medicine through various veterinary specialty groups, including the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the Australian College of Veterinary Science, and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, to name a few.


3. Look Around the Clinic

The next step is to call and ask if you can tour the facilities to ensure they’re right for your cat. Remember that many practices are extremely busy, and availability may be limited. Instead of a tour, you can visit their website, which often shows photos of their facilities and staff.

You can also visit the waiting area to see if separate facilities are available for cats away from other animals. Even better are exam rooms or times of the week dedicated only to felines. Best yet is a clinic that only sees cats.

cat owner vising the vet with pet cat
Image Credit: H_Ko, Shutterstock

4. Visit the Website

Visit their website. Is the information up to date? Do they offer training classes for kittens or talks from the staff about feline topics? Are their hours workable for your schedule? This also lets you see how they handle calls after business hours and where your cat would need to go in an emergency.


5. Look for Positive Signs

Multiple good signs can point toward a great vet. Of course, not every vet will be able to fit all of them, so just look for the vet in your area that meets most of them, while looking for the specific credentials stated above.

Veterinarian-holds-a-black-American-Shorthair-cat
Image Credit: 89stocker, Shutterstock

cat + line divider

Signs That You’ve Found a Good Vet For Your Cat:

A Positive Place for Your Cat

The vet’s office will be scary for your cat if it seems scary to you. Look at the staff and the environment. Are the staff friendly and trying to calm down animals they see? Are there calming diffusers in use for cat visitors? Are the waiting rooms quiet and spacious? Is there a place to put your cat? These are just some of the many questions you could be asking regarding which vet you choose.

If it seems like a positive place, that’s a great sign. You’re looking for friendly and welcoming staff who provide a place you want to bring your cat.

Separate Waiting Rooms

While not all vets can accommodate this, it’s an important feature to look for. Some vets have separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs to make the cats calmer, which is ideal. If the waiting room is not big enough, they may accommodate feline patients at specific times or days of the week to avoid contact with dogs.

Good handling of your cat, with comfort being the priority

When you bring your cat to your chosen vet, watch how they work closely. People who are accustomed to working with cats often go slow, are quiet, and are attentive to your cat’s needs. Ensure that they’re trying their best to take care of your cat and that ensure your cat is comfortable.

vet holding burma cat
Image Credit: Elpisterra, Shutterstock

Hygiene

Hygiene is paramount when it comes to a vet’s office. Sick animals come through daily, and keeping the space clean is essential. If you notice dirt on the floor, an odd smell, or an unclean area, that’s a worrying sign. To keep all animals healthy, there has to be a level of effort to keep the area hygienic.

3 cat face divider

Conclusion

It can be hard to find a new vet. There are many factors to consider, but this list helps put it all into one step-by-step guide. Important items, such as credentials, hygienic areas, a large or separate waiting room for cats, and friendly, knowledgeable staff, come into play when looking for the best possible vet for your cat.

Overall, your cat’s health comes first, and it is very important to ensure they go to a good clinic. Vets are a vital part of your cat’s life, and it’s your job to ensure that the visits are as positive as possible and helpful for your cat’s health.


Featured Image Credit: 4 PM production, Shutterstock

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Catster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart

Pangolia

© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.